Unlike today, there was no official separation between the church and state, “and politics and religion were very much mixed. When Columbus came to the Americas in search of land for his king, he also came to claim land for God” (Spreading Religion in the Age of Exploration). The Europeans spread Christianity, and it became very popular among the colonies of the New World. “Roman Catholicism was the official religion of Spain, so the Spanish conquistadors sought to spread Catholicism throughout their colonies, in addition to accumulating wealth and power” (Spreading Religion in the Age of Exploration). The Spanish missionaries worked very hard throughout the Americas and attempted to evangelize Native American groups.
Baltimore intended the colony he named Maryland to be a sanctuary for England’s small population of victimized Catholics. Baltimore’s colony north of the Potomac River was constructed in a manorial system where Catholic could practice their faith confidentially. After a successful start in 1634, the
The settlers at Jamestown were members of the Anglican faith, the official Church of England. The colony was a representative government. The first representative legislative assembly in America convened in Jamestown’s Church at the end of July 1619, and it underlined that the colonists would have some say in running their own affairs. The Virginia colonists settled in the territory of the Powhatan Indians; the unstable relationship had already begun. Vast differences in culture, philosophies, and the English desire for dominance because they saw the Natives as savages, were obstacles too great to overcome.
While all of this is happening with the church Mexico ends up gaining its independence from Spain in 1822 which made the push for secularization of the missions even stronger. In 1834 the government of Mexico granted secularization of the churches but unfortunately this did not end well for the Indians. Soon after the land was turned over to the Native Americans, many ended up losing their land to speculators, fraud, and thieves; eventually priests take over most of the missions again. In 1850 California joins the union as a free state which leads to priests taking over Mission Santa Clara again in
This meant the Chesapeake Bay colonies could not grow cash crops. Instead, they would have family farms where they would only grow food for themselves. Their religion also helped shape the colony. The Pilgrims had left England because they believed the Anglican Church was corrupted, and it contained too many Roman Catholic beliefs. The Pilgrims were also religiously intolerant of other religions, and believed that theirs were the correct religion.
By the end of the sixteenth century, the new colonies in Mexico were thriving under Spanish control. The once vibrant and busy city of Tenochtitlan had become a distant memory, which the Europeans ensured to suppress by removing remanence of Aztec representation throughout the land. Moreover, the Spanish made every possible effort to impose its traditions on the conquered natives and rule in the manner, which favored the crown, primarily thorough the spread of Christianity. Moreover, European culture was not a matter of choice for the natives to adopt, in fact, entirely the opposite transpired. Upon arrival to the new world, the Spaniards expressed negative sentiments regarding the native’s religious affiliation and customs, which prompted
While on conquest, he witnessed the atrocity and brutality towards the Indians. This inhumane treatment led him to Spain to seek better treatment towards them. Las Casas sought better methods for Spanish conquest, with the support of the emperor, Charles V, he built a new colony that consisted of the Spaniards and the Indians, but his attempt failed. This failure didn’t stop Las Casas from doing religious services. In 1523, he moves to Santo Domingo where he produced his great
After years of little progress, in 1520 Charles V granted a hearing for Las Casas’s crusade. During this hearing, Las Casas argued that the time for military conquest had passed and now was the time for peace. Despite Charles V ruling in favor of Las Casas, very little could be done for the natives due to distance. Although, Bartolome de Las Casas did not set out to become an activist, intending only to settle land and preach the gospel, his faith lead him to see that true Christians did not act the way the Spanish Conquistadors did and that something must be done to right the wronged. In 1555, Richard Eden, an Englishman traveled to the West African Empire of Benin.
did not succeed. In the Aztec, Inca, and Mayan Empire they did succeed at making them into servants and forced labor. Another difference is that the Europeans forced the Incas and Aztecs to change their religion and become Catholic. They sent a lot of Franciscans to convert Indians to their new religion. On the other hand, The Mississippi Valley Tribes were not forced to change their beliefs.
Roger Williams was one of the first Puritans in the New World to truly seek religious freedoms for all. Roger Williams had several issues with the power that the Church had over its subjects and the way in which they would impose their views onto others, even when the Puritans themselves had fled England to avoid religious persecution. Williams made many claims that upset those in power in the colonies, one of which being that the English had no claim to the land and that the charter granted by King James did not give them the authority to take the land away from the Native Americans. Williams saw that the Church should stay away from the civil matters of the State, removing the justification that God granted the King the authority for a charter.